Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Animal rescue..and afterwards

July 30, 2019

As I stepped into the shower, I noticed a tiny little bug crawling along the ledge where I keep my soap and shampoo. As the water started splashing around, I suddenly realized that a waterdrop had quite inundated the tiny creature. Full of compassion, I used my fingernail to delicately lift up the bug to the vertical wall, where the water would drip off it.

I wondered if I had damaged it, and waited anxiously for a while, looking at the motionless little thing. After a while, it slowly began to crawl up the wall. Brimming with happiness at this animal rescue, I stepped out of the shower stall. Wrapping my towel around me, I walked out of the bathoom, quickly swatting a pesky mosquito.

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Why I write about my walks..and Lalbagh, 140419

April 16, 2019

I just got this heart-warming compliment from someone named Malu, regarding the descriptions I write (of the bird/nature walks I go on):
“So heartening to read the write up of your sunday outings. Gives people like me a vicarious pleasure in seeing these birds and animals through your words… thank you very much.”

My reply:

To you, and the many people who have written to me ( and to those who, I realize, may not have written but have still read my bird walk reports…because I recently got a query from someone asking where my writeup was !). Thank you for your kind words.

I used to see terse bird reports (not everyone has the time to write!) which went like this: “I went to X place. I saw..” followed by a very interesting list of birds. This always left me thinking about what the person did before, between, and after those bird sightings, and during them. Was there disappointment at not seeing a bird, or a thrill at seeing an unexpected one? Did they pant in the heat, shiver in the cold, or drip in the monsoon rain? That’s when I started writing “with the details”…I hope you are enjoying what I write, as much as I enjoy writing it!

Here’s the last one:

Bangalore may have entered grishma ritu, but in the open spaces, such as Lalbagh, it’s still quite pleasant in the mornings; so some of us decided to go there ahead of the usual 7.30am meeting time at the Glass House. On the lake bund, we enjoyed the blazing blooms of the Gulmohar, and watched the waterbirds going about their business of catching breakfast, and it was nice to see several Checkered Keelbacks resting in the water just at the corner of the fence and the footbridge that cuts across the lake.

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Not so pleasant was the sight of some visitors stoning these creatures, and I am afraid I gave them a piece of my mind!

The young Crested Hawk Eagle that added an unusual touch to our Lalbagh birding has, it appears, left for other destinations. Some of us had visited Lalbagh the previous day, to conduct a nature walk for schoolchildren, and since, most unusually, we did not sight a single keelback, our conclusion was that the eagle had finished them all off and departed. So it was pleasant to see that we were wrong about the “snakes in the lake”, if not about the eagle. I wonder if the Booted Eagle has also left.

Another rather disturbing sight was that of three Red-eared Sliders on the stones in the lake. Dr Suresh, of Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra Dun, told me that these turtles (native to north America) are very invasive,when I had sent him a photo of one that I’d seen in the lake. Is there any way of netting and sequestering these turtles so that they do not take over the lake? Perhaps, like many lakes now have separate areas for the “visarjan” of idols, we should also have an area where people can release their unwanted pets in a humane way.

The third thing that disturbed me was that visitors seem to think that plucking flowers off trees is a very acceptable thing to do. I went up to a few people who were doing this, but all I got for my trouble was some dirty looks and a “Who are you to tell us this?” manner!

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Visitors treading on flowers that were plucked and thrown on the ground

Well…all this unpleasantness aside…it was a lovely time. There was a cool breeze across the water, and we watched a solitary Grebe, several Little Cormorants

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and Great Cormorants, and the “regular” Darter fishing in the waters; Little Egrets and Purple Swamphens waded at the water’s edge, looking for a snack. Spot-billed Ducks flaunted their colours in the morning sunlight. We went to see the Spotted Owlets, and then shared some pre-breakfast snacks, sitting on one of the lovely wrought-iron seats. Before we knew it, it was time to go the Glass House and start the walk.

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Srinivas and Prasad were there, as usual, and we moved slowly along with them as they pointed out many of the common birds of Lalbagh. A Blyth’s Reed Warbler, some Koels, and White-eyes ensured that our progress down the path towards the Arjuna tree was very, very slow! The Peepal tree had two White-cheeked Barbets going in and out of their nest-holes, and so unconcerned did they seem, that it looked as if one was peeking out from the nest, watching us! This is a new variation of the phrase, “Bird Watching”!

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The Japanese Garden area allowed us to watch several woodland birds, and some White-headed Babblers, the resident Magpie Robin and a Black-rumped Flameback slowed us up considerably.

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Meanwhile, other experienced birders and naturalists who normally participate in the Lalbagh walk, arrived too. MBK brought out information in his usual entertaining way. Prashanth did some excellent sketching, talking to the children (the summer vacation meant we had several on the walk) about the colours of birds.

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As we turned towards the ancient mango tree, we stopped to listen to the Cicadas, and Kesava spotted a Robberfly

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on a Violin-leaf Plumeria plant. Several Common Ceruleans,

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mud-puddling and nectaring on a Cycad, kept us occupied and delighted for a while, too. Several other butterflies were quite active .

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Gardenia sp.

At this point some people asked to see the Spotted Owlet, and I was contemplating taking them to my usual spot, when Srinivas took just a few steps and pointed out one sitting above the netting of the nursery!

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I took the opportunity of asking Srinivas for several plant and creeper ids on the way, and by the time we reached the old mango tree, the call of the White-breasted Iddli had become very insistent in some of us The previous day, I’d found the eatery called “Lalbagh Grand”

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( a very nice alternative to Kamath, where I have been increasingly disappointed with the food)…and off we went to refuel.

The eBird list is

here

I have put up my photos on an FB album

here

The album on Flickr is

here

And….a small thank you to Narahari for the little push that made me write this without further delay!

Skills learnt in childhood:QWERTY typing

November 7, 2017

i belong to an age when children were regularly sent to shorthand and typing classes (it was,indeed, as Salman Rushdie would have put it,
called shorthandtyping). I am still not comfortable typing on a mobile
phone.

We had tests to rate our speed in both. I don’t think I stuck at the
lessons long enough to even get to the numerals row..I quit after the quick
brown fox started jumping over the lazy dog.

But yes,unlike my algebra,geometry and trigonometry, this was one learning that has been very useful.

KTB’s first recipe, 271114

December 3, 2014

While in Florida, KTB’s mother says, “she wrote a wonderful recipe at Thanksgiving that I wanted to share. She did this entirely on her own, and we applauded her effort and the whole family got to exclaim. This was her longest single writing effort, and we were thrilled at the confidence level that allowed her to get through a full effort like this, which is a level of focus we haven’t observed before….This translation should help.”

By Kavya:
Get the pot. Pat the pot.
Put the batter and mix
the batter. Put caramel apples
And a regular apple in it
And put a little bit of
sugar, then mix it and add
Honey if you want.

aa pat the pot 271114

KTB: Art and writing, August 2014

August 25, 2014

Boodi Ma’s writing and art are progressing very well, now that she’s started kindergarten.

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Here’s the cover illustration of a book I read to her (she read out many of the words, too):

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Here’s her first version of the picture:

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And the second, with the musical notes:

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Here’s something she made for the Art Gala at her daycare (no, we didn’t buy it!)

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She wrote, and drew, her left hand:

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She didn’t display her tummy though she wrote it:

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Here’s one OF her, by her daycare friend Eva:

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and here’s one she made at her school,

Wilkinson

last week:

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Developing fine motor skills make us happy, and grateful….v

My article in Silver Talkies

August 2, 2014

Anno Domini is not inimical to birding; indeed, it’s a great hobby for the silver years.

here

is the article I wrote for

Silver Talkies

An e-magazine for seniors.

“World famous in Jayanagar!” :D

February 24, 2014

That’s a local saying, gently ribbing anyone who is getting their names in the news or talked about…it’s literally come true for me!

I always knew they’d run out of people to write about and would arrive at me….

JLR Explore: Cauvery WLS Bird Census, 100114

February 18, 2014

Click here

for my article about the Cauvery WS Bird Census, in JLR Explore.

My contribution to Missouri Birds

November 18, 2013

Here’s an email from Edge Wade of Missouri Birds:

Hi Deepa,

I’ve delayed writing you, waiting until your Forest Park Birders’ Guide appears online. It is now on the ASM site

here

and will appear in the December Bluebird. Thank you for this, and for your contributions to Missouri birding.

Cheers,

Edge Wade

************

Feeling very happy!

Originality…

August 30, 2013

If you think you’ve thought of it
Someone’s thought of it before;
Someone’s thought, and said, and written it
Earlier…nothing’s new anymore!

So…just go ahead, and say what you want.
Go ahead and have some fun.
You’ll vw counted in the long line of thinkers
When humanity’s day is done.